MILLINGTON, TN – A citizen of Attica serving aboard the USS McCain Island has been meritoriously promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class.
The Distinguished Advancement Program allows commands to select their most qualified seafarers to advance to the next salary rank outside of advancement cycles.
Petty Officer 3rd Petty Officer Edward Strzelek is one of the well-deserved sailors on the USS McCain Island.
Strzelec joined the Navy a year and a half ago.
“I joined the Navy to challenge myself and prove that no matter how small a city you come from, you can still make a huge impact in the world,” Strzelek said.
Strzelec works as a gas turbine systems mechanic.
In the Navy, gas turbine systems mechanics operate, repair and perform regulatory and intermediate maintenance on the mechanical components of gas turbine engines and main propulsion machines, including controllable gears, shafts, and propellers; and customization of auxiliary equipment and thrust control systems.
“My favorite thing about my job is working on the LM2500,” Strzelec said. “It’s the award gem of the ship.”
Raised in Attica, Strzelec attended Attica High School and graduated in 2019. According to Strzelec, the values required for success in the military are similar to those in Attica.
“I learned many lessons from my hometown, but one specific lesson stands out,” Strzelik said. “The lesson[is]: Knowledge is power. The manager I was working for at Attica used to tell me that it doesn’t matter how much you think about work. It’s important to understand what you have to do and why you have to do it. This separates you from others.”
The USS McCain Island is the eighth and final amphibious assault ship of the Wasp class and the second in the Navy to bear the name. The ship is unique in that it is the only ship in its class to be powered by LM 2500+ gas turbine engines and an electric motor.
USS Makin Island is the only station with an all-electric design – no steam is used on board.
The ship is staffed with more than 1,000 sailors and can sail more than 1,600 marines.
Amphibious assault ships such as the USS Makin Island are designed to deliver Marines and their equipment wherever it is needed in support of a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option to simultaneously use helicopters, harriers and hovercraft, along with conventional landing craft and attack vehicles in various combinations.
Service in the Navy means Strzelec is part of a team that is gaining new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of a national defense strategy.
“The Navy contributes to national defense through our presence,” Strzelek said. “We are all over the world and ready to go at any moment.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their leadership, community, and careers while serving in the Navy. Strzelec is proud of its selection to upgrade.
“The proudest moment of my career in the Navy is my advancement to the rank of Petty Officer Third Class through the Advance Merit Program,” Strellick said. “I have been working on my qualifications since the day I joined. I am currently trying to get my engineering room operator qualifications. Sailors with this qualification are responsible for a specific space for specific viewing hours. I am also trying to hone my gas turbine systems mechanic skills through additional training. This would That makes me a more knowledgeable mechanic. Plus, I’m proud to be part of an association that does volunteer work for the ship as well.”
As members of the Navy, Strzelec and other sailors know they are part of a tradition of service providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, global affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting impact around the world and for the generations of sailors who will follow.
“Serving in the Navy means I can be part of something bigger than myself,” Strzelek said.
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